We have a website! Head on over to C-47.tv to get a copy of the pitch packet that was sent out to investors to entice them to give us stacks of the cash. I did a most of the concept art and sketches contained within. Give it a peek to see what the world of C-47 is like.
Before I bitch a moan about green screen, I promised a menu break down. Free food always tastes good. Breakfast for Friday consisted of bagels and donuts. Lunch was french fries, Greek salad, and a variety of wraps. Unfortunately, there was little choice for vegetarians except for the salad which was decimated in mere minutes. No dinner on set which made me sad panda so me, Mason (our director), and Nelly (of Morlock Enterprises) hit up a local diner. It’s important to remind your director to eat, otherwise he will go madly insane. Saturday breaky was bagels and muffins. Lunch was Indian food. Honestly, I think we should have Indian everyday for lunch. It helps put us all in the mind set to be shooting in future India. And it’s damn yummy! We ran super late on Saturday so they bought us pizza. I was playing an extra that day and we drove the costume people nuts by eating greasy pizza in an all-white costume. But never fear, if I know one thing I know how to eat me some pizza! Sunday morning was much of the same, bagels and cream cheese with various fruit. Apples are a great snack to keep you from starving during the day. Lunch was a stir fried chicken and rice thing for the cast and crew. The extras got pizza! And I think they also got hot dogs. Oh, and they got better drinks than us! So some of us kinda snuck over to the extra’s coral and stole some drinks. No dinner on set so we scourged what was left of the chicken rice stuff.
Okay, on to green screen. This show is the first time many of us have ever set up a damn green screen. Friday, we had to build a green screen room with 10×20 ft green screen sheets. Fabric is affordable, but it also wrinkles like a mother fucker. If you try to key out a background that’s wrinkled and shadowed, you’re going to get streaks which means you’re going to have to rotoscope frame-by-frame which means you’re going to blow your deadline. Boo! For some reason, we built the thing on a curve. I don’t remember why and it’s really not important. The problem was the bottom edge. No matter how tight we stretched it or how many times we ran the steamer over that bottom edge, those wrinkles would not come out. The medium shots that we took that day were perfect for what we needed. But the wides where you could see the wrinkles may give us a lot of trouble. Add to that the fact that our principle male lead wears a white costume that picks up some green spill from the screen and you’ve the makings of a long as FX process. OI! We get that footage sometime this week so we’ll know if we have to reshoot anything on the last weekend when we’ll be doing green screen pickups.
Saturday was a long fucking day. By the time we got to the shot where we needed some green screen, we were short on time. Fortunately, we were using a green painted box and a length of green felt, neither of which had wrinkles. However, there’s an big shadow seam where the green box overlays the green felt. And we have massive shadows from the actor. The problem is that the lighting had to absolutely match the shot we were compositing into so I don’t really see how we could have gotten rid of the shadows. I’m hoping that we can pull multiple green keys off of this stuff. *fingers crossed*
After two days of pulling hairs and yelling at each other, we took everything we learned from our mistakes and applied them to Sunday’s shoot. Took the lighting guy two hours to get even lighting set up on the green screen because unfortunately, the set was built too close to the screen. This made it difficult to place lights properly so that the screen could be lit evenly without worrying about shadows cast from actors. Set elements also created massive shadow, but some how, he managed to ninja a solution that worked really well. As for the wrinkles, the set designer grabbed some spare wood to weigh down the bottom edge and pull it tight. This flattened out all the wrinkles, no steaming required! Oh man, it’s going to be so easy to pull a good key from the stuff we shot Sunday. Then the tricky part begins where we add in virtual elements to build out the rest of the temple.
This week begins the 96 hours of hell. The major set pieces must be torn down an converted into one gigantic market place that will be extended. There will be people mulling about and they’ll need to be walking in front of, you guessed it, a green screen. But we’ve learned a great deal. We’re giving the lighting crew ten feet to work with so they can evenly light our screen. This means the set folk have less to build which makes them happy. And we now know how to get rid of those shitty wrinkles. As difficult as I think the set build will be, I think we’ll get the green screen setup right this time. Well, as right as we can get it until we learn something else about the Fickle Bitch Green Screen Goddess.